The educational research is clear. Feedback helps learners. It also helps teachers to help learners. We know that immediate feedback has a powerful impact upon learning. When I have worked with clients on strategies to increase retention, comprehension, and higher order thinking skills; the conversation often turns to types of feedback and strategies for providing that feedback.
I’m talking about formative rather than summative feedback. As some like to note, formative feedback is a the check-up and summative feedback is the autopsy. We want to empower teacher and learner to both develop the ability to gather ongoing real-time data about their learning and then make the appropriate adjustments. Having established the “why” of feedback, now we can look at the “how.”
Can educational technology help in creating a feedback-rich classroom experience? Most who are reading this probably know that the answer is yes, and you are likely familiar with one or more options. The good news is that the number of options is growing every month. There are now solutions for a variety of teaching and learning contexts (tempted to take a digital divide diversion, but I’ll resist). Quite a few of the options are free, granted that you can get some sort of device in the hands of each learner (laptop, cell phone, ipod, etc.). If you are planning to do a bit of research on your own, consider using some of the following search terms: student response systems, classroom response systems, audience response systems, live polling, real-time polling, and clickers. Just to get you started, here are some possibilities (in no particular order).
- Understoodit – https://understoodit.com/
- Socrative – http://www.socrative.com/
- QuestionPress - http://www.questionpress.com/
- InfuseLearning – http://www.infuselearning.com/
- Mentimeter – https://www.mentimeter.com/dashboard
- Polleverywhere – http://www.polleverywhere.com/
- eClicker - http://www.eclicker.com/
- Top Hap Monocle – https://www.tophatmonocle.com/
- Student Response Network – http://studentresponsenetwork.com/
- Learning Catalytics – https://learningcatalytics.com/
- iClicker – http://www.iclicker.com/
- CPS Student Response Systems – http://www.einstruction.com/products/student-response-systems
- Turning Technologies - http://www.turningtechnologies.com/
- LectureTools (Part of a collection of tools) – http://www.lecturetools.com/student-response-system
- Real Time Voting - http://www.pcipro.com/real-time-voting
- Understoodit.com - https://understoodit.com/
- Plickers - https://www.plickers.com/ (All you need is an iPhone and a piece of paper for each learner).